“Dyce inserted coins into the Auto-Snack, jabbing the red button. ‘I’m getting a ham sandwich. And for you?’
The thought of food nauseated Beckett, tightening his stomach. ‘I’m not hungry.’
‘I’ll get two packets, anyway. I’ve been to an awful dance. It’s like playing tennis, dancing with some those hefty hearty deb girls. Still, they provide some decent food and drink, and you get to know people.’ Dyce gave him the cellophane-wrapped sandwiches. ‘Hang on to these, will you?’ He slapped his pockets. ‘I came here for cigarettes. Run clean out. Now where the hell is the-’
‘Machine over there.’
‘Fine.’ Dyce strode forward, saying: ‘Yes, I passed the waiting-room and happened to see you in there. What on earth were you doing? Not travelling anywhere, are you?’
The cigarettes bought, they started for Dyce’s car, which was parked outside.
‘I lost my room. I’m broke. I had to stay somewhere.’
Dyce stopped, and gave him a hard, long look, like a recruiting officer assessing men for physical fitness and psychological stability. Finally he said: ‘You look a wreck, man. Your nerves are all gone to pieces. I’ve never seen anyone degenerate as quickly as you have.’
‘That’s not so. I’m stronger than you think. There’s a core of hardness inside me, a hard core inside me.’ Under the influence of the pills, Beckett’s words were like an express train. ‘Some things do not touch me, they are nothing to do with me. For instance, if I have a job, it is nothing to do with me. If I owe rent, it is nothing to do with me. If I stole five pounds, it would be nothing to do with me. For me, the only sins, the only things I feel moral about, are the things which soften my centre. For instance, laziness, boredom, wasting my time in trivialities, I regard as sins.’
Dyce opened the car doors. They got in and sat talking in the parked car. ‘How did you get in such a state, anyway?’”
The furnished room
New London Editions, 2011 (publicado originalmente en 1961 por Hutchinson & Co.)
**** Esta de aquí arriba es Laura Del-Rivo, en una de las muchas (míticas) fotografías que tomó de ella Ida Kar. Laura fue una de las grandes escritoras bohemias y beatnicosas del Soho de los sesenta. The furnished room es una mezcla de Absolute Beginners y Ritual in the Dark de Colin Wilson y algo de Camus. Si les hacen falta más conexiones, en 1963 Michael Winner convirtió la novela en thriller criminal de soho-explotation con guión del gran Keith Waterhouse -y aparición de la diva Morrisseyana Diana Dors- retitulada como West 11 (vean el trepidante trailer aquí). La Del-Rivo sigue viva y avispada, por cierto. Pueden verla en este inspirador video reciente, hablando de su vida, de su longevo puesto de quincalla de segunda mano en Portobello Market y de su arte y visión del mundo. Te amo, Laura.